The Frederique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam is a globe-trotting, category-smashing value proposition

The Frederique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam is a globe-trotting, category-smashing value proposition

Jamie Weiss

Frederique Constant might sound French, but actually, this very Swiss watchmaker has a surprising Dutch connection. It was founded by a Dutch married couple back in 1988, with its name being a combination of the first names of its founder’s great-grandparents, one of whom founded a company making watch dials back in 1904.

Fast forward to the 21st century and Frederique Constant has teamed up with Amsterdam-based jewellers Ace on a limited edition take on their Highlife Worldtimer… Or should I say, they’ve gone Dutch? Puns aside, this is a dapper take on a world timer watch that really demonstrates why more people should pay attention to Frederique Constant.

The case

Frédérique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam pocket shot

First introduced in 1999 but brought back in a big way in 2020, the Frederique Constant Highlife stands out as one of the best value integrated bracelet luxury sports watches on the market – a hotly contested segment. Its rounded, somewhat tonneau-shaped case helps it stand out in a category of watches that’s often very same-y.

Frédérique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam case profile

The completely hornless design of its case makes it sit nice, flat and centred on your wrist: the Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam is not exactly a small watch at 41mm in diameter and 12.9mm thick, but the design of the case and bracelet makes it feel slimmer than those measurements might suggest.

The dial

Frédérique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam dial

Typically, the Highlife’s dial features a tasteful globe pattern, one that complements a world timer particularly well – but for their collaboration, Ace decided to do something a bit different and instead create a Highlife Worldtimer with a matte black dial.

Frédérique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam dial side

Instead of a globe pattern, you’ll find a fun detail below the Frederique Constant logo at 12 o’clock: three little red crosses, which is a nod to the flag of the city of Amsterdam. The Amsterdam flag’s colour scheme continues throughout the watch’s dial, with the second time zone ring coloured in red and white. The date wheel at 6 o’clock overlaps the world time ring at the bottom of the dial, which adds a three-dimensional quality to the Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam’s dial.

Frédérique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam date wheel

Another fun Dutch touch can be found on the city reference ring, where the typical Geneva time zone text has been replaced with Amsterdam, which has also been written in red to make it stand out even more. You know what they say: it’s always 4:20 somewhere.

Frédérique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam angled wrist

Jokes aside, this black, red and white colour scheme is both unique and classy. Red is a somewhat underutilised colour in watchmaking, so it helps the Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam feel special – but then, having black as the primary colour gives it a dressy, versatile feel, which is an important characteristic to have in a watch designed for international travel.

The movement

Frédérique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam movement

Visible through the Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam’s exhibition caseback is its calibre FC-718, an automatic in-house movement that beats at 4Hz and features a 38-hour power reserve. The FC-718 is finished to a high standard, with a tastefully snailed bridge and perlaged mainplate. The almost smiley-faced automatic rotor features a large aperture through which you can admire the movement.

The bracelet

Frédérique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam bracelet

As mentioned previously, the Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam features an integrated bracelet, and a particularly elegant one to boot, with polished centre links and a curvaceous taper towards the clasp. It also benefits from a quick-release system, if you want to swap on a leather or rubber strap.

The verdict

Frédérique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam bracelet and caseback

I’m a big fan of this watch. I think the fact that Frederique Constant offers an in-house world timer movement like this in a watch that ticks so many boxes and for this price is a bit of a coup. The cool Dutch details of this limited edition are the cherry on top: they classily nod to Ace’s Amsterdam roots as well as Frederique Constant’s Dutch progenitors. This is a brand that’s doing so many things right – clever collabs, exceptional value and tasteful design – pay attention to Frederique Constant.

Frederique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam pricing & availability

The Frederique Constant x Ace Jewelers Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam is a limited edition of 100 pieces and is available now exclusively through Ace  – although we suspect not for long, as Ace collabs tend to sell out fast. Price:  €4,295.

Brand Frederique Constant x Ace Jewelers
Model Highlife Worldtimer Amsterdam
Reference Number FC-718AMS4NH6B
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 12.9mm (T)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 100 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Matte black
Lug Width Integrated
Strap Steel bracelet with butterfly clasp
Movement FC-718, in-house, automatic
Power Reserve 38 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date by hand, worldtimer
Availability Limited edition of 100 pieces
Price €4,295